'Fast and Furious' traced to White House
Did President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder authorize the ATF's deadly Fast and Furious operation? During Tuesday's testimony on Capitol Hill, William Newell, a former special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs he discussed the case with a White House National Security staffer as early as September 2010.
According to Townhall's Katie Pavlich, Newell also stated that several other agencies including the DHS, ICE, IRS and the DOJ "were all heavily involved and were full partners in coming up with the concept and execution."
Committee Chairman Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Ca) addressed Mr. Newell regarding the lethal consequences of ATF's gunwalking strategy at Tuesday's hearing.
You had the same people buying weapons repeatedly, leading to the same cartel, and you didn't quit because you hadn't made your case and so continued selling until had you had a dead federal agent and a scandal.
Emails released during the course of the investigation in March revealed that drug-related murders were up last year.
"958 killed in March 2010 ... most violent month since 2005." The same e-mail notes: Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone," including "numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles."
Before Tuesday's hearing ATF whistleblower Agent John Dodson told investigators he tried to warn his superiors about the escalating violence.
I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two...The more our guys buy, the more violence we're having down there.
Dodson and other sources stated that Fast and Furious had been approved all the way up to the Justice Department. But so far, nobody at the Justice Department has publicly acknowledged a role in the case, and President Obama has said neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder knew anything about it until the story broke after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in a Sonora, Arizona gun battle in December 2010.
So what did the President know and when did he know it? The Townhall article also cites an April 2009 joint press conference in Mexico City with Obama and President Felipe Calderon. Obama specifically refers to "gun tracing" and "gun information" as important "issues" in dealing with the drug cartels.
Our focus is to work with Secretary Napolitano, Attorney General Holder, our entire Homeland Security team, ATF, border security, everybody who is involved with this to coordinate with our counterparts in Mexico to significantly ramp up our enforcement of existing laws.
In fact, I've asked Eric Holder to do a complete review of how our current enforcement operations our working and make sure we are cutting down on the loop holes that are causing some of these drug trafficking problems.
Last point I would make, is that there are going to be some opportunities where I think we can build some strong consensus I'll give you one example and that is the issue of gun tracing, the tracing of bullets and ballistics and gun information that had been used in major crimes."
It seems implausible that President Obama and Eric Holder did not know about Fast and Furious. Did they directly green light the operation which commenced in Fall 2009, months after the April press conference? Did they use stimulus monies to implement the insane policy that led to the deaths of U.S Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and approximately 150 Mexican law enforcement officials?
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report